You could almost hear the gasps of a television audience the moment a beautiful woman stepped out of the van, steps away from clear turquoise water – the gauzy white material of her sleeves fluttering in the Guam breeze.
A new season of a popular Japanese reality show recently wrapped up shooting on the island, and the local crew who helped booked the international gig, and managed the visiting talent and crew while they were here, can’t wait for residents to see our home be the backdrop for couples finding love.
The Guam Daily Post was invited to take a look behind the scenes as some of the final shots were being filmed in East Hagåtña Bay.
Jerry White, vice president of the Guam International Media Coordinator Association, said the hard work it took to organize a season-long shooting schedule, packed with exciting activities to film and COVID-19 protocols to contend with for a cast and crew of about 50, would be worth it to see Guam viewed as a beautiful, safe destination for Japanese and other travelers to choose for their post-pandemic vacation.
“We’re showcasing everything about Guam. We’re bringing them the ‘double bling.’ It’s reality TV, so we wanted the viewers to see the best mansions, the best beaches, the best activities, the best shows,” White said. “They’re having the time of their lives here. Falling in love, connecting with one another, that’s what the show is about.”
Although the Post was asked to avoid spoiling details like the show’s title or individual cast members, representatives from the production team and Abema TV, the streaming service that will be airing the show, spoke at length about what their experience filming overseas has been like.
Guam was chosen as the location for their new season for a few main reasons, they said. The island is close to Japan, and already has a reputation for being a well-loved tourist destination in their country.
Officials were also convinced the international shoot would be safe for the cast and crew, saying the island had the “lowest” number of COVID-19 cases of the options they were considering.
“This is somewhere everybody loves to come, Japanese especially they love to come here,” a producer said.
The island was a fitting backdrop to the stories that unfolded in front of the camera, according to the Japan-based crew. The show’s audience skews younger, mainly between older teens up to their 30s. When they see Guam, they’ll be wowed and want to have similar experiences for themselves – perhaps to get married at a hotel chapel featured, they said.
They described the show as, “a love connection on this fantastic island.”
White said Guam’s picturesque beaches impressed the cast. The show was shot at locations all around the island including Ypao, Urunao, Tagachang, Ipan and Malesso’. It was important to the local crew that all of Guam was showcased, especially parts of the island outside of the tourism epicenter of Tumon.
Local businesses and talent were tapped as well. Guam-based videographers used their drones to capture panoramic, epic shots of the island and the show’s cast. Optional tour companies and hotels also welcomed the opportunity to be a part of the filming, with the prospect of millions of new customers seeing first-hand the experiences that await them here.
“It’ll air in July or August, and we shot about eight episodes,” White said. “So that’s a lot of content to find. And all of our talented friends and our friends in the business community – they’re looking for tourists. Even for us in media, when tourism is down, there’s less business for us. So everyone has been so helpful, and our anticipation to see the final product is at an all-time high.”